Screening tools to estimate mold burdens in homes

J Occup Environ Med. 2009 Jan;51(1):80-6. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31818dc41e.


Objective: The objective of this study was to develop screening tools that could be used to estimate the mold burden in a home which would indicate whether more detailed testing might be useful.

Methods: Two possible screening methods were considered for mold analysis: use of vacuum cleaner bag dust rather than the standard protocol dust samples and reducing the number of molds needed to be quantified resulting in the creation of an alternative mold burden scale.

Results: Vacuum bag dust analysis placed the estimate of mold burden into the upper or lower half of the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index scale. Mold burdens estimated by only 12 species produced an index, the American Relative Moldiness Index, with a correlation of rho = 0.80 with the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index.

Conclusions: Two screening tools were developed for estimating the mold burden in homes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Air Microbiology*
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis*
  • Dust / analysis*
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Fungi / classification
  • Fungi / isolation & purification*
  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • Regression Analysis
  • United States
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency
  • Vacuum


  • Dust